Friday, October 1, 2010

Going Google across the 50 States: Pharmacy Development Services communicating from Florida and beyond

[Cross-posted from the Google Enterprise Blog]

Editor’s note: Over 3 million businesses have adopted Google Apps. To share their stories, we've talked to businesses across the United States. Today we'll hear from Mat Silverstein, Research and Development Officer for Pharmacy Development Services based in Florida. To learn more about other organizations that have gone Google and share your story, visit our community map or test drive life in the cloud with the Go Google cloud calculator.

Based in Florida, Pharmacy Development Services (PDS) is a business coaching company that works specifically with independent pharmacies. Over the last 12 years, the company has helped hundreds of pharmacy owners build solid business plans and achieve success.

“As a small business with employees spread across the country, internal communications have always been a challenge. In the home office, we make hundreds of decisions a week that affect our customers and employees, and this, combined with rapidly changing information, makes it tough to keep up. Information is constantly flying back and forth between members of our team, so it only made sense to give it a home in the cloud. Life before Google Apps went something like this:

Me: Did you get my email?
Co-worker: No
Me: Check your spam folder.
Co-worker: There it is. Wait. This is the old version of the document. I updated the document and sent it to you yesterday.
Me: I know, but I couldn’t open it. I have an older version of the software you used.

This scenario was typical, and it wasn’t until we moved to Google Apps that our team saw a huge boost in productivity. Right now, we have a team of on-site and off-site employees planning the biggest event in the history of our company; they’re using Google Docs to share the latest conference plans, instant messaging, integrated in Gmail, for quick communication, and Google Calendar to schedule all their meetings.

The Gmail interface is light-years better than our old email system and we can access it anywhere. Some of us travel a lot, and accessing email from our iPhones, Android-powered phones, and Blackberry devices is essential — we couldn’t imagine it any other way. Information is ubiquitous; it shouldn’t be bound to a particular device.

As a company that is closely tied to the health industry, I can best put how Google Apps has helped us into medical terms — we’ve been cured of spam-itis, old-versions-of-documents-osis, and most importantly, missing-documents syndrome. We can spend less time searching for files and fixing scheduling mishaps, and more time helping our customers.”